Milan Mourns ‘Poetess of Navigli’

Literary world bids farewell to Alda Merini

Editorial Staff
November 19, 2009

Italy recently lost one of its greatest twentieth-century poets, Alda Merini, who passed away in her native Milan on November 1. Thousands attended her state funeral in Milan's Duomo on November 4.


‘Alda Merini charted a course through the history and culture of our city, providing important reflections for the rest of the country,' said mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti.


Considered one of Italy's greatest poets by many of her contemporaries, including Nobel prize winners Salvatore Quasimodo and Eugenio Montale, Merini, who wrote in an eclectic style, explored themes of love, eroticism, religion, marginalization, solitude and mental illness, from which she suffered for years.


 Among her collections of poetry translated into English are A Rage of Love (1996), Unpaid Ballads (2001) and The Holy Land (2002).


The 78-year-old poet lived in Milan's Navigli neighborhood, and her home will be marked with a memorial plaque.

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